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Waste Minimisation Audit Methodology

2.0 Waste Minimisation Audit Methodology
2.1 Six Step WM Methodology with Details of 18 Tasks

2.0 Waste Minimisation Audit Methodology
For Waste Minimisation to be effective & self-sustaining, it is essential to adopt structured approach applicable to the targeted unit or sector. Working in piece-meal / adhoc manner might produce short-term immediate gains but it may not sustain for long-term benefits to be realised.

An organised approach means assigning responsibility, fixing targets, reviewing progress and timely implementation of techno-economically feasible selected and agreed solutions.

A systematic methodology for conducting WM assessment was developed in India under the Project "DESIRE - Demonstration in Small Industries for Reducing Waste". DESIRE methodology was developed keeping in mind the industrial culture, type of technology and technical manpower in the country specially in the SSI sector which constitutes a major part of total industrial production.

The systematic waste minimisation audit methodology developed under DESIRE project contains 18 tasks under six steps as described below :

Step 1. Getting Started
Planning and organization of the Waste Minimisation audit, including the establishment of a project team, baseline data collection and the selection of the audit focus.

Step 2. Analysing process steps
Evaluation of the unit operations relevant to the selected audit focus in order to quantify waste generation, its costs and its causes.

Step 3. Generating Waste Minimisation Opportunities
Development and preliminary selection of workable Waste Minimisation opportunities.

Step 4. Selecting Waste Minimisation Solutions
Assessing the technical feasibility, financial viability and environmental desirability of preliminary selected WM options in order to select feasible WM solutions

Step 5. Implementing Waste Minimisation Solutions
Actual implementation of the techno-economically viable WM solutions and monitoring of the results achieved by their implementation.

Step 6. Sustaining Waste Minimisation
Tools and techniques for sustaining the implemented WM solutions and elaborating the scope in other areas.

2.1 Six Step WM Methodology with Details of 18 Tasks
Step 1 Getting Started
In order to prepare for the Waste Minimisation assessment, the following tasks need to be executed.

Task 1 Make Waste Minimisation Team
The WM Team shall be made up of representatives from the various major sections in the company that will have an interest in Waste Minimisation. Size and composition of the WM team shall be according to the company's organizational structure. The team should be capable of identifying potential WM areas, developing WM solutions and implementing them. To this end, input from both in house and external experts might be needed.

Task 2 List process steps (Unit Operations)
All process steps in the unit should be specified, including utilities, storage and waste management facilities, in order to get a proper understanding of all manufacturing processes.

The team should highlight major and obvious waste generating areas and, if possible, identify the reasons for waste generation. In addition, housekeeping and process control practices should be assessed carefully. Special attention should be paid to periodic activities e.g. washing and regeneration (of catalysts, absorbents etc.) as these are often highly wasteful but still overlooked.

Task 3 Identify and select wasteful process steps (Audit focus)
Without going into details, the team should broadly assess all process steps in terms of quantum of waste, severity of impact on the environment, expected Waste Minimisation opportunities, estimated benefits (cost savings) etc. Such assessments are effective tools in focusing on one or a few process steps (audit focuses) for detailed WM analysis.

Step 2 Analysing Process Steps
This step in WM methodology covers the detailed data collection and evaluation for the selected processes. This information will enable the generation and evaluation of Waste Minimisation opportunities in the subsequent phases. In this step the following tasks need to be addressed.

Task 4 Prepare process flow chart
A schematic representation of the selected process steps (audit focus) is essential with the purpose of identifying all process steps and the sources of wastes and emissions. The flow chart should list and - to some extent - characterize the input and output streams for each process step. Given the historic development of the production processes, it is not always easy to establish a correct process flow diagram but it is crucial for the smooth development of the Waste Minimisation audit.

Task 5 Make material and energy balance
Material and Energy balances are necessary to quantify the process losses (wastes) during processing. Later balances can be used to monitor results / achievements of the implementation of Waste Minimisation options. Normally a preliminary balance (approximate) should be derived, given the lack of records and the lack of data on composition of input and output material streams and complex recycle streams. It may be worthwhile to draw component balances for important resources, e.g. water and fibre balance in paper industry, print paste balance in the textile finishing industry, oil balance in vanaspati industries etc.

Task 6 Assign costs to waste streams
In order to get the top management's commitment and to estimate the approximate savings potential the cost of the waste stream should be evaluated. A preliminary estimate can be made with a calculation of the cost of raw material and intermediate product lost with the waste stream (like fibre loss in the pulp and paper industry). A more detailed analysis might reveal additional costs, including the cost of raw materials in waste, the manufacturing cost of material in waste, cost of product in waste, cost of treatment of waste, cost of waste disposal, waste tax etc.

Task 7 Review of process to identify waste causes
A review of the processes should locate and highlight the causes of waste generation (cause analysis). A wide variety of possible causes should be considered, including for instance poor housekeeping, operational and maintenance negligence, poor raw material quality, poor layout, bad technology, inadequately trained personnel, employee de-motivation etc.

Step 3 Generating Waste Minimisation Opportunities
Having identified and assigned causes of waste generation, the audit team can move on to determining Waste Minimisation opportunities which eliminate these causes The following tasks need to be undertaken to this end.

Task 8 Developing waste minimisation opportunities
The team having analysed the data and possible causes for waste generation is now equipped for eliminating waste causes, which in turn minimize waste generation. Finding such options, depends on knowledge and creativity of the team members, much of which comes from their educational background and work experience. Techniques like brain-storming, group discussions etc., might be applied to boost option generation. Ideas from outside viz. Personnel from similar operations, equipment supplier and consulting engineers should be encouraged.

Task 9 Select workable opportunities
The Waste Minimisation opportunities are now screened in order to weed out those, which are impractical and to select those, which are directly implementable (not requiring feasibility analysis). This screening process should be simple, fast and straight forward and may often be only qualitative The remaining opportunities are then subjected to more detailed feasibility studies

Step 4 Selecting Waste Minimisation Solutions
The feasibility of the workable Waste Minimisation opportunities is to be evaluated in order to select the most practical set of Waste Minimisation solutions. The WM opportunities should be subjected to the following assessments.

Task 10 Assess technical feasibility
Before selecting solution proposed the Waste Minimisation opportunity should be subjected to technical evaluation to ascertain whether it will work for the specific application or not. To this end, impact of the proposed Waste Minimisation opportunity on process, product quality, production rate etc. has to be evaluated. In addition, an inventory has to be made of the necessary technical changes for the implementation of the WM opportunity.

Task 11 Assess financial viability
In SMEs financial viability is the key parameter in the evaluation of Waste Minimisation opportunities. For the evaluation of low investment options priority should be given to the simple analysis methods like pay back calculations. However in case of high investment options a rigorous evaluation method (example Internal Rate of Return) is necessary to assess economic viability.

Task 12 Evaluate environmental aspects
In most cases the environmental benefits of Waste Minimisation programme are obvious. However, for options having complexity in involving changes of raw materials or process chemistry, care should be taken to assess whether or not a net reduction of toxicity and quantity of waste and emissions occurs.

Task 13 Select solutions for implementation
The results of the technical, financial and environmental evaluation have to be combined in order to select the most practical and viable set of WM solutions. Proper documentation of the selected solutions will be highly useful in obtaining approval and funds for the actual implementation of the solutions.

Step 5 Implementing Waste Minimisation Solutions
The Waste Minimisation solutions that emerge from above analysis now have to be implemented. A significant number of solutions might be implemented as soon as they are identified (i.e. repairing of leaks and enforcement of working instructions), while others would require a systematic plan of implementation. To this end, the following tasks should be undertaken.

Task 14 Prepare for implementation
This includes arranging required finances, establishing task forces, preparing detailed technical drawings, planning for undertaking implementation etc. Good liaison, awareness and information dissemination should assist in obtaining the involvement of key departments and persons.

Task 15 lmplementing waste minimisation solutions
Implementing Waste Minimisation solutions is similar to any other routine Industrial modification / expansion. In order to achieve the optimum results, the in-house training of manpower should not be missed out and should be considered as an important activity.

Task 16 Monitor and evaluate results
Environmental and economic performance evaluation of all the implemented WM options is needed to assess causes for deviation (if any) of the results obtained from the results expected as well as to inform management and to sustain its commitment for Waste Minimisation.

Step 6 Sustaining Waste Minimisation
It might seem in the first place that Waste Minimisation programme is completed upon the implementation of the feasible WM solutions. However, the team still faces the major challenge of sustaining WM programme in order to further reduce wastes and improve profits in the future. This basically consists of the two tasks.

Task 17 Sustain waste minimisation solutions
Generally for areas like housekeeping and process optimization, employees tend to return to the wasteful, old practices if not continuously motivated to sustain the improved practices. Developing own benchmarks and regular comparison of current scenario is therefore crucial in order to monitor on-going achievements and sustaining WM solutions. Rewards and recognition schemes could ensure the ongoing involvement of the employees.

Task 18 Identify and select wasteful process steps
Having improved the environmental performance of selected Wasteful processes new selection should be made as the focus for next Waste Minimisation audit. The newly selected audit focus shall be subjected to all the steps starting from Step 2.

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